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Sylacauga Rocks: engaging encouragement for the people of Sylacauga


SYLACAUGA, Ala. – Painted rocks have popped up around the city of Sylacauga for weeks. The downtown area is constantly flooded with children and parents searching for the rocks, and the game is growing, so much so that a Facebook page has been made for those who are participating.

But what is the drive behind the recent craze?

Candice Hightower, founder of the Sylacauga Rocks Facebook page which has over 6,000 likes, first saw the phenomenon while on a trip in Georgia. She said people all around the town were hiding, finding, and relocating rocks with inspirational words or Bible verses. Resembling an Easter egg hunt, Hightower said she traced this inspirational activity back to Arizona.

She said she felt the need to bring the game to Sylacauga for two reasons: first, to kill the narrative that there is never anything to do in the city, and, second, to bring the community together through encouragement and fun. “I just thought this was a really cool idea. When my kids got excited about it in Georgia I thought people in our hometown would be too,” she said.

Rock hunting is an around-the-clock activity inside of the city limits, and maybe for good reason. “This gets people out of the house, and brings a community together,” Hightower explained. “With everything in the news being so negative, this gives people hope and encouragement.”

Businesses have even taken the idea as a marketing ploy. Hightower explained a store in town has begun painting rocks and placing them strategically throughout town, and when people find them and bring them in they are offered discounts on items.

Many of the rocks show how artistic people are from the area. Hightower is very impressed by the quality and ability of those in the community to paint such masterpieces on rocks.

The impact this could have on a city is limitless, and Hightower said to not doubt what is happeneing. “This may seem silly and this may seem insignificant, but this is giving everyone a nice outlet for everyone to reach out, talk to people, and make new friends from all walks of life.”

Jeremy Law for | © 2017, City Media LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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